Narada Bhakti Sutras

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chapter 4 Summary


Prostrations to all.

Let us summarize the 4th chapter of Narada Bhakthi Sutras today. As we are aware, this chapter is titled PREMA NIRVACHANAM or exposition of pure love. Here in this chapter Narada gives a very clear exposition of what love is, how it is, what activities are done by a real lover and what should a seeker do in order to achieve such pure love.

Narada starts the chapter by telling that pure love is indescribable. Pure love is indescribable not because it doesn’t exist but as it is beyond words and expressions. The scriptures speak about the ultimate reality of Brahman or Lord as being beyond words and thoughts. Pure love is when a seeker is ever immersed in the reality of Lord thereby merging into the Lord. Thus pure love is the same as the very nature of Lord. As the scriptures speak about the Lord being beyond words and thoughts, therefore pure love is also indescribable. Narada gives a very beautiful example to illustrate this – he says that pure love is indescribable even as a dumb person cannot speak about the good food he had.

Though pure love can only be experienced by oneself and not explained in words, yet we can speak about as to how a person who has pure love would behave in the world. Narada starts this exposition by telling that pure love shines in very few. Even as the Lord proclaims in Gita 7th chapter that out of thousands of people very few strive and out of those striving few, very few know the Lord in reality, Narada says that pure love shines in very few alone. This is because in pure love we transcend everything. Narada explains this beautifully by telling that a person who has pure love would be speaking about the Lord, listening to the Lord, following the Lord and always thinking about the Lord.

Though pure love is subtle, devoid of gunas and only a matter of experience, love can be categorized as three either based on qualities (sattva, rajas, tamas) or based on what is being sought (aartha seeking removal of worldly troubles, arthaarthi seeking wealth and jijnaasu seeking knowledge). Depending on an individual’s nature as well as what he is seeking, this categorization has been made. We have to rise the ladder and become a jnaani who is one with the Lord (thus experiencing pure love).

Narada then gave the two beautiful reasons as to why Prema or pure love has to be sought – as it is self-proven (doesn’t need any other proof) and peaceful-blissful in nature. Finally Narada started explaining as to the way to achieve pure devotion. There is a common notion that if we have to realize we have to renounce everything. This is not true. In fact renunciation is not external as is generally considered. Renunciation is internal wherein a person always surrenders to the ultimate reality of Lord offering all the actions and fruits. For such a person who has renounced everything internally, external activities will still go on as he is a mere instrument in the hands of the Lord. It is the Lord who is making him do actions rather than himself doing it. This is advisable as the seeker is not at all doing any actions; as he is not the doer, he is not the enjoyer of the fruits whether they are good or bad. As is the case with any goal, there are dos and donts for attaining pure love also. The donts are that a person shouldn’t have any ego, hatred, listen to stories about women and atheists. The dos are offering everything unto the Lord.

Narada finally explains the beautiful concept of offering even desire & anger to the Lord. If we are unable to conquer desire and anger, we should show it towards the Lord. The Lord will then ensure that those are removed from our mind thereby liberating us from their bondages.

Lastly Narada concludes the chapter by telling that pure love alone is to be aspired and practiced. Pure love is like the love shown by a devoted servant or a devoted wife or a devoted mother to household or husband or children respectively.

Attaining pure love alone can give us eternal bliss which is the very fruit of anandam and amritham as explained in the very first chapter by Narada.

Let us all after listening to the virtues of pure love seek it with all our effort and power so that we may rejoice in bliss (that which is sought in the external world each and every moment of our life).

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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